It will be a standout year for LGBTQ representation at the Academy Awards.
More than half of the Best Picture nominees, announced Tuesday, are LGBTQ-inclusive films: A Star Is Born, Green Book, The Favourite, Vice, and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Moreover, every acting category -- Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress -- includes at least one queer role. However, as is commonplace at the Oscars, every actor portraying these roles identifies as straight. (Bisexual actress Lady Gaga is nominated for her performance in A Star Is Born -- but that role, Ally, does not identify as queer in the film.)
Melissa McCarthy was nominated for Actress in a Leading Role for portraying the late lesbian writer Lee Israel in the (excellent) biopic Can You Ever Forgive Me? The film, based on Israel's memoir, shows how the out-of-work biographer coordinated an operation forging the letters of luminaries like Tennessee Williams and Katharine Hepburn, with the famed gay bar Julius' as her home base.
Mahershala Ali was nominated in the Actor in a Supporting Role category for his performance as jazz pianist Don Shirley in Green Book. Shirley never came out in his lifetime. But the film depicts a real-life incident in which the musician just barely escaped being arrested for a same-sex encounter at a YMCA.
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Richard E. Grant was nominated in the category of Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Jack Hock in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Based on a real-life person from the memoir of Lee Israel, Jack is a former hustler who is homeless and HIV-positive. His friendship with Israel, which veers into criminal territory, is a rare movie depiction of a friendship between a gay man and a lesbian.